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Macready! Dickens' Theatrical Friend

by Stratford Productions

theatre, spoken-word-and-live-literature

A compelling solo show about the great Victorian actor-manager, Macready - the man to whom Charles Dickens dedicated "Nicholas Nickleby".

about the production

A must for drama fans, this remarkable true tale captures the sheer joy, graft and tribulations (!) of a life lived in theatre. With passion, humour, emotion, and an array of characters, Mark Stratford will take you on a journey through the fascinating world of Victorian theatre and the extraordinary, yet conflicted life of William Charles Macready; from his first tentative steps on stage in a tatty country theatre to his final ever performance at the mighty Drury Lane!

about the artist

Stratford Productions was set up in 2019 by actor/writer Mark Stratford in order to produce and tour his solo plays. Currently these are: (1) "Macready! Dickens' Theatrical Friend" - the story of one of the 19th Century’s greatest actor-managers, William Charles Macready, and; (2) "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" - adapted from the novella by Robert Louis Stevenson. After a pause due to the pandemic both shows have been touring the UK since September 2022.

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stage dimensions

width: 5 metres

height: 3 metres

depth: 3 metres

End-on staging works best. Use of venue’s lighting and sound equipment needed. Venue technician needed for LX and SX set-up and operation. Fully marked LX and SX cue script available on day of get-in or in advance. LX plan available on day of get-in or in advance. Small number of different standard lighting states required.
SX plan and sound files available on day of get-in or in advance or can provide laptop with cues pre-programmed. Minimal set provided by the company: 1 small table and 4 chairs. Venue to provide foh staff.

People interested in Charles Dickens.
People interested in theatre, showbusiness, and history (especially the Victorian period)
Students of Drama and Performing Arts.
People who like a good story - in this case a true one - faithfully and passionately told.
Minimum recommended age is 12. Suitable for families.

"A fascinating play about the life and loves of William Charles Macready... Fringe Theatre doesn't get much better than this"

Theatre & Arts Reviews

"...effortless story-telling, Stratford’s pace driving the narrative seamlessly. It is all compelling and charming" - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED SHOW


"Not to be missed...Stratford’s remarkable ability to tell Macready's story and create characters brings it all to life”

Broadway Baby

The performance could be made accessible by venues providing interpreters or captioning/audio description equipment.

Happy to include a post-show discussion / Q&A by advance request at no extra cost.

Ideally a guarantee of £650 (including travel/accommodation, posters and flyers) but happy to negotiate depending on budget, capacity and location including box office splits. VAT does not apply.

The show involves only 1 person (the performer) and so only 1 dressing room/area is required. The performer never leaves the stage during the performance.